Retail experts say it’s time to start your holiday shopping, especially if it’s the year’s most popular products
Don’t let the global supply chain issues get your tinsel in a tangle this holiday season
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Scott Benedict, Director of Texas A&M’s Center for Retailing Studies, says consumers need to start their holiday shopping now, due to issues with the global supply chain. Unlike years in the past, if customers wait to get their shopping done they run the risk of items going out of stock.
“It’s a bit of a hit or a miss scenario where you don’t know exactly what products are going to be available on what day and who will have the greatest shortages and where they may be gluts or overages of product,” said Benedict. “It’s a difficult scenario to kind of predict what’s going to happen because there’s so many variables to it.”
Due to uncertainty, Benedict recommends buying when you see the product and not waiting, if you can.
“My advice is to continue to shop around and when they find the right item go ahead and get it, so they know they have it,” said Benedict.
Bridget Mais who owns Learning Express Toys of College Station echoes this idea and recommends purchasing the top items on your list first.
“Try to hit the priorities,” said Mais. “Get them out of the way first and then all the other stuff- stocking stuffers there is plenty of, so don’t worry about that.”
If you are a consumer who prefers to wait for the Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, Benedict doesn’t recommend it.
“There’s a tremendous of very aggressive pricing promotional activity from a lot of retailers of various sizes out there on the market right now because they are trying to expand that window of holiday shopping a little bit,” said Benedict. “I think consumers should shop with an eye towards, if they find a great deal they should grab, if they want to make sure they have the presents that they are looking for this holiday.”
If you want to make sure you are getting the best deal, Benedict recommends using price comparison tools online. He also recommends checking a store’s stock at several locations before leaving the house.
“Certain retailers are in better or worse conditions based on how much of backlog of inventory they have and how much inventory they have in transit from other parts of the world trying to get into the United States,” said Benedict.
Mais is trying to ensure her store is in good condition for the holiday season with the hottest toys like Squishmallows, Cocomelon, fidget and legos. She’s been preparing for several months.
“I’ve basically been prepared since springtime,” said Mais. “I knew that this was happening. Our vendors that we purchase toys from knew that this was coming and gave us a head up and it let us be prepared way ahead of time.”
To get prepared she filled up extra shelves on the store floor, every possible space in her back room, and even filled an extra bedroom in her own home with boxes.
“That’s how much we have ordered in advance, and I didn’t want to get a storage room and tack that extra cost onto the customer,” said Mais. “There’s plenty of companies that are saying that the cut-off has already happened we cannot ship anymore, but that’s why we stocked up way ahead in advance of this.”
Even if she runs out of certain products, Mais said she has ordered similar products that will serve as good alternatives.
Beyond the holidays, Mais wants customers to also consider purchasing gifts for people who have birthdays in late December and January because with the surge of holiday buying it’s unknown what the stock will look like in early 2022.
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